Events & News

DV: Alive and well in Columbiana County


Fact: It is less about every 12 seconds a woman is abused in this country. It is more that she takes a stand against what a man is doing to her and she ends up in the ER or the morgue.

Fact: 75 percent of women killed by their partners are in the process of leaving or because they left, which is very telling about why many women won’t leave their abusers.

Fact: Many abusers were abused as children, or watched their fathers abuse their mothers.

“Domestic violence is alive and well in Columbiana County,” said Daryl Hersh of Ozer Ministries, and the rise in drug addiction here may be used to control partners. Domestic violence is about relationships – the good things and the bad ones. Recovery takes time.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services, Ozer Ministries, and The Christina House DV Program of Catholic Charities Regional Agency, combined efforts to present the Purple Door Breakfast last Thursday rather than the traditional balloon launch, explained Nickie Ostick, outreach coordinator for The Christina House. The goal: “Break the silence and stop the violence.”

Debbie Chaffee, case manager at Christina House, advised that since Christina House opened in 1997, they have assisted 947 women and 907 children in this county. They have taken over 18,000 calls. Battered victims and their children may be sheltered at the house for up to 30 days, but sometimes that is extended because of the limited availability of housing in the area.

Elaine Kloss is the legal advocate at Christina House. While a woman may be told that she has no rights to anything the couple owns, in Ohio everything is fifty-fifty, Kloss said. She can help with protection orders and said Columbiana County provides more holistic ways of helping victims. Agencies that assist in recovery include Family Recovery Center and Columbiana County Counseling Center.

Dottie Kane spoke about the No More Campaign. The symbol means “no more domestic violence.” You’ll be hearing more about this as community support is sought to reinforce the statement, No More Domestic Violence.

The words of a recovering victim of abuse brought the whole picture together. Louisa Thomas shared her family’s story. She came from a very loving home with parents who love each other and a strong faith in God. She never imagined how horrible some family lives could be until troubles came into her marriage. The progression of abuse was gradual, so much so that she missed the red flags. And even when it got really bad, she still questioned her own involvement, maybe she did cause her husband to lose his temper, to provoke him to choke her, blame her. Maybe it was the prescription drugs that he had to take for the severe pain before and
after surgery and if they could fix that, everything would go back to the beautiful life they once had.

No. After a year of sobriety, her husband relapsed. She found evidence to support her knowledge. And became a stronger woman than she ever realized she could be. She said the thing that hit her hardest was when a friend said to her, “You are teaching your daughter that it’s OK to abuse your wife and daughter.” And that was not a concept she wants her daughter to have. Still, she worked only part time. She didn’t know how they would survive on their own. And the other thing was that she might have to share custody of their child. Her story isn’t over yet, she said, noting that there are two options: to become a bitter person – or a better one. She wants to be the better one and is confident in God that she will succeed, that there is purpose in everything. As she has “been there, done that,” she said she is able to reach out to others who are experiencing abuse now and struggling with all of the problems that accompany abuse.

Gloria Steinem once said, “What if there was a whole generation of children who were raised without violence?”

Family Recovery Center promotes the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues. For more information about recovery, contact FRC at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, Christina House’s 24-hour crisis line is 330-420-0036.

In response to so many calls about what individuals can do about the drug problem in Columbiana County, FRC invites the community to its scheduled Family Night, 6 p.m., Wednesday at the main office, 964 N. Market St., Lisbon. The discussions will be about FRC findings from the local area and what you might be able to do if you should have a loved one who is involved in drug use or abuse. Call 330-424-1468 to make a reservation. Light refreshments will be available.

The next National Take Back Drug Program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 22. You can drop off the medications (pills or capsules) either East Liverpool City Hospital’s main entrance or at the Salem Medical Building across the street from Salem Regional Medical Center. No liquids, aerosols or creams will be accepted.

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